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When your organization decides to take on a key issue, creating public awareness and action is often critical to your success. Washington university map but what exactly is a “public awareness campaign,” and how do you create one? Through our experiences across the country, advocacy & communication solutions LLC provides a guide that will help you understand the process of planning and developing a robust public awareness campaign, using our recommended set of components.

Many advocacy and communications terms are used loosely and with varied meanings, so it helps if your campaign team is using commonly understood definitions. Here are key definitions to help eliminate confusion during the planning process and beyond:

A comprehensive effort that includes multiple components (messaging, grassroots outreach, media relations, government affairs, budget, etc.) to help reach a specific goal.

A public awareness campaign is not just billboards, television commercials, social media or fundraising.

Utilizing messaging to help proactively engage key audiences in your issue and asking them to respond to a specific call to action to help achieve your goal. Public education is not simply talking to people, placing ads, or having a static facebook page.

Any public awareness campaign or outreach effort must have a fully interactive online platform to build and engage key audiences as described below. Look for one that’s web-based and database-driven, that allows you to segment and personalize email communications, that gives audiences the ability to directly engage with you, and provides technical support. Be careful to choose one that is made for public awareness efforts and one that does not require you to retro-fit their system to meet the needs of your effort.

Grassroots organizing is the proactive gathering of support at the local level for your issue. American college paris the result is a network of supporters that act on behalf of your issue (e.G., write letters, make calls and ask others to do the same). This network is usually unpaid, and motivated by a desire for change. Gathering the support of community leaders, known as “grasstops,” is usually included in this outreach, although their role can differ from grassroots supporters. Examples include:

Community leaders or “grasstops” individuals can carry your campaign message to a specific set of audiences that other supporters cannot reach. Grasstops should be engaged on a regular and ongoing basis to help leverage other leaders, their own members/supporters, in-kind and cash resources, and caché.

Within your target audience(s), you must proactively engage individuals/groups to ensure they areactiveon behalf of your campaign. George washington university medical school the process of developing champions sits within your grassroots outreach plan but requires a more specific level of detail about why, how, and when to engage each champion and maintain their support over time. Having strong champions is critical to grassroots success and overall campaign effort.

Effective government affairs work begins with relationship development with local, state and federal public officials. Start by educating public officials about your issue, and then work to integrate those public officials within some component of the broader campaign.

Create a detailed document that describes the goals and tactical activities attached to each component of your public awareness campaign. This document will help you understand and track the success of each tactical activity. Even the best campaign plan can lose momentum without a detailed implementation plan.

Not every program at your organization will be linked to your public awareness campaign. Those programs can, however, help buttress the overall effort. For example, a program or research division can help inform talking point development or provide strategic direction for a particular target audience.

Study the broader landscape to determine how you can leverage and learn from others to help inform your own campaign goals. Organizations, community leaders or consultants that are steeped in such information can help you navigate this issue and strengthen your efforts.

A specific fundraising budget is critical for your campaign and deserves its own attention and strategy. Without short and long-term fundraising and budgeting strategies, your public awareness campaign will have a difficult time securing supporters and is likely to struggle.

You must develop materials specifically for the goals and tactics of your campaign. General materials about your organization will not suffice, nor will they reflect the strategy and messaging demands of your campaign. Washington university in st louis some examples include: